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Modern Mysteries

Mysterious Russian 'spy whale' shows up off coast of Sweden

By T.K. Randall
May 30, 2023 · Comment icon 1 comment

Was the whale trained as a spy by the Russians ? Image Credit: CC BY 2.0 Steve Snodgrass
A whale that was previously found wearing a Russian-made harness has been sighted again off Sweden's coast.
Nicknamed Hvaldimir, the hapless Beluga whale originally caught the attention of authorities when it surfaced off the coast of Norway back in 2019 with a strange man-made harness attached to its body.

When marine biologists from the Norwegian Directorate of Fisheries managed to remove the harness, they discovered that it was one typically used to mount camera equipment and had the words "Equipment St. Petersburg" written on it.

The find prompted speculation that Hvaldimir may have been specially trained by the Russian navy as a 'spy whale' and had either escaped its enclosure or had been set loose.
Fast-forward to the present and now the animal has been sighted again - this time off Sweden - having seemingly spent the last three years making its way along the coast.

Thought to be around 13-14 years old, Hvaldimir is a particularly unusual specimen because Beluga whales are not known to frequent these particular waters.

Sadly, he is unlikely to have encountered another of his kind in several years.

Source: Science Alert | Comments (1)




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